Compensation for Lack of Club Security Paid to Singer

A nightclub singer, who was shot an injured in an unprovoked attack after finishing his performance, has been awarded 673,000 dollars in compensation for lack of club security by a court in Washington.

Jamel Williams (26) from Baltimore in Maryland had been performing at The Island Cafe Restaurant and Bar in Washington D.C. on March 15, 2008. After finishing his performance, and while speaking with friends, an unidentified man entered the bar, approached Jamel and fired one gunshot. The bullet went through Jamel´s hand and lodged in his head, where it remains due to the risk of having it removed.

Jamel alleged that the nightclub had been negligent and responsible for his injuries by failing to provide adequate security to prevent the attacker from entering the club and attacking him. In his claim for lack of club security compensation, Jamel claimed that the nightclub had received notice of the likelihood of violence due to multiple violent crimes which had been committed in the vicinity in the recent past.

At the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Judge Craig Iscoe made an ex-parte ruling in favour of Jamel, and awarded him 650,000 dollars in general damages for the pain and suffering he had experienced at the time of the shooting, with a further 23,172 dollars in special damages compensation for lack of club security to cover his medical costs.


Refuse Collector Awarded Faulty Vehicle Accident Compensation

A refuse lorry driver, whose spine was compressed following a crash due to the front wheel of his vehicle collapsing, has been awarded 11.4 million dollars in faulty vehicle accident compensation by a jury in California.

Raymond Mariolle (46) from Brentwood, California, drove refuse lorries for twenty years prior to his accident in 2007, when the front right hub of his lorry cracked – resulting in the wheel becoming detached and the 27 ton vehicle tumbling to the ground.

Despite being in the cab of the vehicle, Raymond suffered a crushed spine for which he has already undergone three major surgeries. Raymond also takes painkillers to help him accomplish day-to-day tasks and has been unable to return to work even in a non-driving position.

Raymond made a claim for faulty vehicle accident compensation against Volvo Trucks, the manufacturers of the vehicle, Consolidated Metro – the manufacturer of the aluminium hubs – and the company that had modified the lorry – Wittke Manufacturing – alleging that the companies were aware that the hubs did not have sufficient strength to bear the loads placed on them.

At the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Maxine Chesney and an assembled jury heard that a number of hubs had already failed throughout the country and there were an estimated 25,000 vehicles in a similar condition.

The three defendants claimed that the hubs only cracked when excessive weight was put on them by irresponsible waste management companies, but Raymond´s solicitor was able to produce emails from 2004 which demonstrated that the three defendants were aware of a problem but failed to recall the lorries or replace the hubs that had been fitted to them.

Have been told by Judge Chesney to offer a settlement but failing to do so, the three defendants were found liable for Raymond´s injury and the division of liability and award of damages was left to the jury´s discretion.

After the jury had deliberated for 10 hours, liability was divided between all three defendants with Consolidated Metro being assigned 52 percent at fault, Volvo Trucks 30 percent at fault and Wittke Manufacturing 12 percent. The remaining 6 percent was allocated to Raymond´s employer who was not named as a defendant.

The jury awarded Raymond 7.5 million dollars in general damages for the pain he had suffered with a further award of 2.4 million dollars in special damages for lost income and medical expenses. Raymond´s wife – Regina – was also awarded 1.5 million dollars in faulty vehicle accident compensation for being deprived of marital and family relations since the accident.


Compensation for Disaster Cruise Holiday

The Italian subsidiary of Carnival Cruises responsible for the Costa Concordia has offered more than 3,000 passengers who were rescued from the stricken ship 11,000 Euros (14,460 dollars/9,180 pounds) in compensation for disaster cruise holiday.

The offer has been made to reflect the cost of personal effects lost in the tragedy and also any psychological trauma that passengers may have sustained during the sinking of the ship and rescue effort. The same level of compensation for disaster cruise holiday applies to children and, in addition to the offer, the cost of the disaster cruise holiday and any transportation costs to return home will also be refunded.

Those passengers that sustained a physical injury will be assessed individually, and passengers prepared to accept the offer of disaster cruise holiday compensation can expect to receive their settlement within a week. However, the Carnival Cruises payout has attracted condemnation from some consumer groups, who have criticised the proviso that passengers accepting the disaster cruise holiday compensation offer will have to forgo any future claims against the company.

The consumer group Codacons claims that passengers should be entitled to a minimum disaster cruise holiday compensation settlement of 125,000 Euros (164,300 dollars/104,300 pounds) for each passenger, and has recommended that passengers seek professional medical advice before accepting the company´s offer of compensation for disaster cruise holiday.


Pub Licensee Awarded Compensation for Personal Assault

A pub licensee, who sustained injuries to her face when she refused a customer entrance to her bar, has been awarded 500 pounds in personal injury damages following a hearing at Kirkaldy Sheriff Court.

The Court heard how Agnes Gallagher of the Greenside Hotel in Leslie, Fife, had seen Leala Brownlie of Glenrothes, Fife, being sick outside the hotel premises at approximately 9.15pm on the night of March 26 2011. Assuming that her sickness was due to an excess of alcohol, Agnes refused to allow Brownlie to return into the hotel bar.

After a heated discussion, the assault on the pub licensee followed, with Agnes sustaining cuts and bruises to her face and damage to two of her teeth which needed dental treatment to repair them. The assailant left the premises, but Agnes was able to track her down on Facebook where – the Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard – Brownlie had posted that she gave the landlady of the Greenside a good kicking.

Sheriff James Williamson heard that Brownlie admitted assault but, in her defence, had previously been of good character and regretted the incident. Acknowledging that a custodial sentence would have been inappropriate in the circumstances, Sheriff Williamson ordered Brownlie to pay Agnes 500 pounds in personal injury damages.


Hand Injury Compensation Awarded for Manual Handling Accident

A skip delivery man from Lancashire, who lost his thumb and finger in a manual handling accident, has won his injuries at work claim and is to receive 175,000 pounds.

In January 2009, Heath Riley (45) from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire was delivering a skip for Enviro Skips Ltd of Burnley, Lancashire, when the skip he was intending to unload slipped due to being placed inside another insecurely and crushed his hand. When an ambulance was summoned, Heath had the thumb of his right hand amputated at the scene and doctors failed to save his index finger during microsurgery at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Heath also lost the use of two other fingers in his hand and, after being discharged from hospital, sought legal advice about making an injuries at work claim. It was discovered following an investigation into the accident that the skips had been loaded insecurely as they were damaged and unsafe to use. As such Enviro Skips Ltd should have withdrawn them from service and not allowed them to be stacked to go out for delivery.

In an out-of-court settlement for hand injury compensation, Heath was awarded 175,000 pounds to account for his pain and suffering at the time of the accident, his future loss of earnings as he will no longer be able to work in a position which requires manual labour, and for the deterioration in the quality of his life as he will no longer be able to pursue his DIY hobbies.


Woman Awarded Golf Injury Compensation after Car Park Accident

A woman who sustained injuries to her face and body after being struck by a golf ball at her home club in Staffordshire has settled her injury claim for compensation for 7,500 pounds.

Rachel Davis was hit in the face by a wayward golf ball as she was returning to her car at the Branston Golf and Country Club. The force of the impact caused substantial damage to her teeth and cuts to her lips and, due to the shock of the event, Rachel also fell to the ground and sustained bruises to her body.

 Rachel was immediately taken to hospital where she received treatment, but was absent from work for the following week due to her injuries. After seeking legal advice Rachel made an injury claim for compensation against the Golf Club and instigated a health and safety inspection by East Staffordshire Borough Council.

The council found that the Golf Club had erected a fence to prevent such accidents but it was too low to be effective and was in a bad state of disrepair. The Golf Club was also in breach of several health and safety regulations including a lack of warning signs of the potential hazard.


Pensioner to Receive Substantial Slipped in Store Compensation

A pensioner who slipped on a Christmas tree ornament, fell and broke her thigh, is to receive substantial slip, trip and fall compensation after a decision in London´s Civil Appeals Court.

Joan Dufosse (73) from Southampton in Hampshire was accompanying her two grandchildren on a visit to Santa´s Grotto in London´s Selfridges store when the accident happened in November 2009. Getting prepared for a family photograph, Joan was asked by an elf to take a step back towards the corner of the room.

It was then that Joan slipped on an icicle Christmas tree ornament which had fallen from the tree and fell, fracturing her left femur. She was immediately taken to hospital where she underwent surgery to have a plate inserted in her leg but is still to make a full recovery from her accident.

Joan´s initial claim for slip, trip and fall compensation was rejected on the grounds that the ornament was not in plain view and therefore Melbry Events Ltd – the company responsible for hosting Santa´s Grotto in Selfridges – were not responsible for Joan´s injuries. But at London´s Civil Appeals Court, Lord Justice Rix overturned the decision, stating that it was not the family´s responsibility to see the hazard.

How much compensation Joan will receive for her is not yet known, but is expected to be in the region of 30,000 pounds. A final settlement of slipped in store compensation will be negotiated between Joan´s legal representatives and Melbry Events Ltd in the New Year.


Restaurant Fall Claim Results in 1.9 Million Dollar Settlement

A diner, who slipped and fell on an icy restaurant car park, is to receive 1.9 million dollars in settlement of his restaurant fall claim.  

The unnamed single father of two from Newton, New Jersey, was visiting the Perkins Restaurant in Budd lake, new jersey, in January 2007 when he slipped on the ice which had formed by a storm drain in an unlit section of the car park. He suffered severe injuries to his shoulder and spine which required spinal fusion surgery and the insertion of plates to support his back during his treatment.

Four years later, and after spending more than 250,000 dollars on medical treatment, the man is still unable to walk any distance and cannot perform regular household activities. After seeking legal advice, a restaurant fall claim was filed against the owners of the restaurant – K Investments Limited L.P. – and shortly before the case was scheduled to be heard in court the 1.9 million dollar settlement was agreed between the victim´s solicitors and the insurers for the restaurant.


Slips, Trip and Falls Compensation Awarded to Leicester Shopper

A woman, who sustained shoulder and hip injuries when slipping on the access bridge to a Leicestershire shopping centre, has secured a slips, trips and falls compensation settlement against the owners of the site.

Gweneth Bowler from Quorn in Leicestershire was visiting the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester with her daughter when the accident happened in January 2011. The 64-year old grandmother was crossing a covered walkway which connects the shopping centre car park with the stores, when she slipped on a wet surface and fractured her rights shoulder and hip in the fall.

While recovering from her injuries, Gweneth wrote to Leicester City Council about the hazard, prompting the council to initiate a health and safety inspection. The inspection revealed several areas where the owners of the shopping centre – Hammerson PLC – were failing in their health and safety obligations including a lack of cleaning to prevent the floor surface of the walkway from becoming slippery in bad weather.

After taking legal advice, Gweneth filed a claim for slips, trips and falls compensation against Hammerson PLC and, with negligence by the owners already established, the claim was quickly resolved for an undisclosed sum.


Personal Injury Claim Settled after Pensioner´s Leg Amputation

A pensioner, who broke his leg in three places when falling into a hole at his local park, has been awarded 160,000 pounds in settlement of his personal injury claim against his local council after the injuries resulted in the amputation of his leg.

Edward Tuffrey (67), a retired window cleaner from Barnes, Middlesex, was walking his dog in the Suffolk Road Recreational Ground in May 2006 when his foot plunged into a ten-inch hole in the ground. Despite the insertion of a metal plate and nine screws, the leg failed to heal and after the metal plate snapped in 2008, an infection developed in the leg which resulted in its amputation.

Edward made a personal injury claim against Richmond Council on the grounds that he and other local residents had complained to the council about the state of the recreational ground for several years without anything being done. Richmond Council were found negligent and responsible for Edward´s injuries by the Mayor and City of London Court in October 2010 but given leave to appeal.

Shortly before the appeal case was due to be heard in December 2011, the council and Edward´s solicitors arrived at a negotiated settlement which will see the council pay Edward 160,000 pounds for his injuries.


Motorbike Accident Claim Settlement Approved in Court

A man, who suffered catastrophic brain injuries when his motorbike was in collision with a car, has had an undisclosed settlement of his motorbike accident claim approved in London´s Royal Court of Justice.

David Buchan (28) of Watford, Hertfordshire, sustained the injuries in February 2005 after his bike was hit by a car driven by Mark Whiting of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and following a long period in intensive care had titanium plates inserted into his head.

Since his accident, David suffers from depression, has impaired senses of smell and taste and has suffered a partial loss of sight. Although he has learned to walk again, he can only manage short distances with the aid of a stick and it is unlikely that he will ever be able to work again.

Mr Justice Langstaff at the Royal Courts of Justice heard that settlement of David´s motorbike accident claim had taken so long because of a dispute over liability and, although the undisclosed compensation settlement was believed to be substantial, represented just one-third liability on behalf of the defendant.

Approving the settlement, the judge paid tribute to David´s mother – Ann – and the remarkable levels of care and support she had provided for her son during his recovery.


Man Injured in Shallow Dive Tragedy to Receive 5 Million AUD

A man who was born with cerebral palsy is to receive a 5 million Australian dollars compensation package after sustaining catastrophic injuries when diving into the shallow end of a public swimming pool.

Reece Hodder (28) from Scarborough, Western Australia, was deaf, blind and mute from birth and had a perception of danger equivalent to that of a twelve-year-old. In January 2006, he was visiting the South Hedland Aquatic centre in Perth, Western Australia when he dived from a block positioned at the shallow end of the swimming pool into 1.1 metres of water. The impact with the floor of the pool left Reece completely paralysed, and whereas before the accident he was living an independent life, his quadriplegic condition now means that he requires full-time care.

Reece´s mother, Elaine, sued the Town of Port Hedland – the owners of the pool – and the YMCA who managed it, claiming that both parties were negligent in contributing to Reece´s injury. In March this year, the Port Hedland District Court heard that the Town of Port Headland council had been warned three times prior to the accident about the dangers of having permanent diving blocks at the shallow end of the pool and had been criticised for displaying inadequate warning signs.

Finding the council 90% negligent, Judge Patrick O´Neal stated that “On the evidence at trial, there were organisations, public and private, offering funds for improvements to the South Hedland Aquatic Centre. Despite all of this, for reasons that were never explained, (the council) repeatedly procrastinated about making the changes until it was literally too late.”

The judge dismissed the action against the YMCA – although there had been no lifeguards on duty at the time of the accident – and announced last week that compensation for the serious personal injury claim had been agreed by the two parties at 5 million Australian dollars. The settlement is subject to the approval of the District Court as Reece is disabled.


2 Million Dollar Award for Widower in Dustcart Fatality

A Maryland jury has awarded just over two million dollars to the surviving husband of a woman who was run over and killed by a dustcart as they walked along a closed traffic lane.

Xiufeng Wang and Yunshu Li of Germantown, Maryland, were walking alongside the construction site for the new Germantown and Kingsview Fire Station during the early afternoon of October 9, 2008, when the accident occurred. A dustcart which was backing out of the construction site failed to notice the two pedestrians and ran them down.

Yunshu (74) died at the scene of the accident, while her husband sustained a fractured wrist and backbone injuries. Xiufeng was released from hospital after four days and, after seeking legal advice, sued the general contractor and subcontractor for wrongful death and personal injury, arguing that the companies were negligent for failing to provide a safe pedestrian path.

Before Montgomery County Court, the jury heard that Milestone Construction Services of Sterling, Virginia, and Hakes Contracting of Germantown, Maryland, were negligent inasmuch as they had removed a portion of the sidewalk during construction and failed to carry out pedestrian traffic plans. The family also argued that the dustcart was also negligently operated.

The jury found the two defendants guilty on both charges, and awarded Xiufeng, his son and five daughters a total compensation package valued in excess of two million dollars.



UBS Found Negligent for Decorative Globe Leg Injuries

The Swiss banking giant, UBS, has been ordered to pay more than 480.000 dollars in personal injury compensation to a Connecticut man who severely injured his leg on a decorative globe placed outside of their Stamford offices.

Al Barbarotta (60) from Trumbull, Connecticut, was walking from the Government Centre in Stamford to the local train station in June 2006 when, in a crowd of people, he caught his leg against the metal lettering which encircled the UBS globe. The metal letters sliced into his right leg and Al fell heavily onto his left knee.

The accident caused injuries to Al´s legs which required 37 stitches and several surgeries – including one to insert a prosthetic knee replacement.

After seeking legal advice, Al sued UBS for his injuries, claiming that the globes were public nuisances.  As evidence, Al produced a video in which he demonstrated the sharpness of the lettering by scoring through a set of work gloves on the edges of the metal.

UBS denied the claims but, after a week´s trial at the State Superior Court in Stamford, a jury found in Al´s favour and awarded him $78,777 for his medical expenses and $401,500 for non-economic damages – a total of $480,277.


One Million Dollars Award for Slip on a Dustsheet

A New York widow has been awarded more than one million dollars in personal injury compensation, after she slipped on a carelessly placed plastic dustsheet while renovation work was being done on her studio apartment.

Marie Wilson (89) of Manhattan, New York, sustained her injury in March 2009, when workmen were in the process of installing replacement windows. Her landlord and the workmen had moved furniture away from the window area and laid plastic dustsheets in order to protect the floor. However, one of these dustsheets had been laid carelessly, and it was on this sheet that Marie slipped.

Her injuries required that she undergo hip replacement surgery and extensive physical therapy and, for a long period after her surgery, the former avid walker had to use a walking aid in order for her to remain mobile.

After taking legal advice, Marie sued the landlord and property management agent – Caran Properties Inc. – and the contractors – Skyline Windows LLC – for a breach in their duty of care. At the Supreme Court of Bronx County a jury found the co-defendants to have been negligent and awarded Marie 450,000 dollars for past pain and suffering and 600,000 dollars for future pain and suffering.


British Man wins Australian Compensation for Fight Injuries

A British man, injured in a fight when defending his brother, has been awarded almost 14,000 Australian dollars victims-of-crime compensation by an Australian Capital Territory magistrate´s court.

David D’Ambrosio, who was born in Canberra but now works in England as a personal trainer, was visiting his brother in January 2010 when they were set upon by a group of men just as they were concluding a night out with friends in the town of Civic.

In the fracas, David suffered an irreparable tear to a ligament in his knee and needed two reconstructive surgeries as a result. His injuries meant that he was unable to fly back to the UK as planned and missed a considerable time from work.

After hearing evidence from David´s legal representatives, Magistrate Maria Doogan ordered that he receive 9,776 Australian dollars for the costs of his medical expenses, 840 Australian dollars to compensate for his airfare and a further 3,341 Australian dollars for his subsequent loss of earnings.


UK Schools in Firing Line over Compensation Payments

Two recent freedom of information requests have revealed the volume and amounts of personal injury compensation payments being made to children in UK schools.

In the first, it was disclosed that over 30,000 pounds was paid out by local education authorities in Middlesbrough between 2008 and 2011. Incidents where a child trapped their finger in a school gate (3,750 pounds) and a child fell while jumping between benches (4,500 pounds) were highlighted, with the biggest compensation settlement being for a child who was scalded by a hot drink which fell from a teacher´s desk (11,000 pounds).

Further south in Rotherham, local councils have paid out over 57,000 pounds to injured pupils during a five year period. The largest payment was made to a pupil who was injured during a trust building exercise suggested by his teacher (15,000 pounds) when he was dropped by a fellow student. Further payments were made to a pupil who suffered a head injury when struck by a falling shelf (11,000 pounds) and to a girl who broke her wrist during a trampoline accident (1,000 pounds).

Many of these personal injury claims are uncontested and settled out of court and, although schools have a duty of care to children in their protection, a spokesperson from the Campaign for Real Education warned against the dangers of frivolous claims being taken too far. James Wharton, the Conservative MP for Stockton South also added that “People should not feel entitled to claim for any minor incident, though, of course, where there has been a serious injury there needs to be redress.”


Kraft Settles in $8 Million Pollution Class Action

Kraft – owners of Cadbury´s Chocolate and manufacturers of Cracker Barrel, Philadelphia and their own brand of Cheeses – have settled an $8 Million class action suit brought against them by residents of Attica, Indiana.

The residents of 124 homes in the city alleged that a nearby Kraft factory had polluted the local air with vinyl chloride – a known human carcinogen – and had contaminated the local water supply with trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE).

Testing in the Attica homes had revealed the presence of vinyl chloride, and residents demanded both compensation for the ill health caused by Kraft´s polluting activities and also that the company clean up its factory site and nearby ground water.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kraft will also install mitigation systems in homes which have been affected and individual plaintiffs will still have the right to bring individual compensation claims should they become sick as a result of the pollution.


3 Million Dollar Settlement for Cruise Ship Slip Injury

A woman, who slipped and fractured her knee cap on a Carnival cruise ship, has been awarded almost three million dollars in damages.

Denise Kaba from Florida was a passenger on the Carnival Pride in August 2009, when she slipped and fell on the pool deck which had been treated with a resin that made it hard and slippery when wet.

As a result of her slip and fall, Denise suffered a fractured patella and had to undergo surgery six times to enable it to heal correctly. It was also claimed in her action at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida that she may have to have total knee replacements in the future.

Denise´s legal representative alleged in court that Carnival were aware of previous injuries associated with slips on the pool deck since it had been treated, yet had done nothing to make the surface safer or warn travellers of the potential dangers.

Agreeing with Denise that Carnival were liable for her injuries, U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungara awarded 2,998,155.70 dollars in damages, consisting of more than 220,000 dollars in past medical expenses, nearly 375,000 dollars in future medical expenses, just over 170,000 dollars in loss of earning capacity, 200,000 dollars for pain and suffering in the past and nearly 2 million dollars for future non-economic damages.


3.2 Million Dollars for Car Park Injury

A Los Angeles concert-goer, who sustained terrible leg injuries when falling from a ledge alongside an access road from the venue car park, has been awarded 3.2 million dollars by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury.

Denise Herron, of Los Angeles, California, was attending a John legend concert with her boyfriend at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in September 2009. After being directed by parking attendants to a nearby dirt car parking area, Denise and her boyfriend started making their way to the venue entrance.

However, access from the car park involved walking towards oncoming traffic, and many other concert-goers had chosen an alternative route which involved climbing over a two foot high fence which had a three foot ditch on the other side. This access was unlit and, in the darkness of the night, Denise slipped and broke her leg.

Due to the severity of her injuries, the Los Angeles Superior Court heard that Denise had to leave her job as sports marketing director for the L.A. Sparks and, after four surgeries to repair the injury, the bone has still not properly healed and remains in two pieces. A medical expert at the trial gave evidence to suggest that Denise may never fully recover from her injuries.

Claiming that the Greek Theatre was negligent in not providing a safe access to the theatre from the car parking area, Denise sued Nederlander-Greek Inc., lessees of the Greek Theatre, for personal injury compensation and loss of income. The Los Angeles jury agreed that Nederland-Greek Inc. were indeed negligent and awarded the considerable compensation settlement in Denise´s favour.